Love, love, love it. Very freeing.
There are other quilts and backings and bindings class write-ups that I should be doing. For a few weeks there I froze. Couldn't figure out which one to do, struggled, didn't have enthusiasm for any of them. And as a result did nothing.
Finally broke myself free from the stagnation by rebelling.
I've been wanting to go ruler-free for awhile, but haven't had the courage. Okay, I tried it once on a very small One Patch Quilt - and I even hand-pieced that one. But I didn't push any further.
(Yes, I am a hypocrite. I'm always trying to convince quilters to get liberated, to try the UnRuly Letters and get wonky, and yet here I am trapped inside a box as well. Maybe a bigger box than some folks, but a box all the same.)
You know how I love Anna Williams. I read that first article about her in 1997 and there was a photo of her working with scissors. That was the first time I ever heard of a quilter working that way. I wasn't even tempted to try it back then - waaaay more than I could handle.
I finished this quilt top last spring: Love Anna Williams Style (aka LAWS) inspired by one of Anna's quilts.
but is it truly Anna Williams-style? sigh. Not completely. I used my rulers. I wanted straight lines to sew with, even though I wasn't measuring.
But this time? I'm going all the way, baby! or at least, getting closer...
Okay, I'm still using a rotary cutter, cuz I like it and it's fast, but no rulers, no perfectly straight edges. um, well, that is.. okay I'm not cutting any NEW strips but I am using old strips that were cut perfectly straight. c'mon. I've got lots and lots and lots of fabric already cut. I gotta use it! That's all the solids, hand-dyes and Cherrywoods. Of course I have to wrestle them away from Lily first.
I'm also using shirts. I've got lots and lots of them and for the most part they're not already cut into strips.
I did quite a few joins where I laid two pieces of fabric right-sides up and then cut through them both, with a gentle curve or two, so that they'd match up. That's not how Anna would do it, I'm sure. But it was a place for me to start where I felt comfortable. I suspect I'm still straightening out too many edges, but I am getting looser as I go along. Baby Steps.
This love block in particular was inspired by Nifty Quilts. She's working on a quilt with 52 virtues (you're all invited to play along and make your own Virtues Quilt.
But Anna and Nifty are not my only inspirations.
The talented Victoria (who blogs as Bumble Beans) made an incredible ruler-free quilt back in 2009. I've learned so much from reading the WaveRunner Tutorial even though it's taken me way too long to try some of the techniques. She shows cutting and sewing wavy UNMATCHED strips (ie, those gentle curves don't curve the same say) and then steam ironing the heck out of them.
It looks so much scarier than it is. Really and truly. In fact, it is way fun. Great place to dip your toes in...
Another fabulous quilter I admire is Sujata of The Root Connection. Last year she made a wonderful quilt with, as she calls them, "bubbles and bumps." Using only scissors, she added and subtracted fabric to create this quilt, very intentionally letting the fabric speak to her and not worrying about flatness. Whee!
But the last straw that finally pushed me over the edge into
Additionally, I love her Passage Quilting (insert little trademark symbol here) in which she sews (and teaches others to sew) together meaningful clothing items. Very moving. And wow, daring. She goes much farther than just using cottons. (Anything but leather? Wow, that is adventurous.) She has a Mini Passage Quilt Tutorial and it is wonderful. It really inspired me to use the curves of the shirts, instead of just hacking them into straight strips and squares.
So are you all inspired to try freehand cutting and piecing too?
That is enough for one post. Gotta get ready to watch Fringe... Too bad we're not going to get any more of Anna Torv channeling Leonard Nimoy. She did it fantastically.